Risk, Reputation, and the Price Support of Ipos
43 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2004
Date Written: December 2003
Immediately following public offerings, underwriters often repurchase shares of poorly performing IPOs in an apparent attempt to stabilize the price. Using proprietary Nasdaq data for a large sample of IPOs, I study the price effects and cross-sectional determinants of price support. Some of the key findings are: (1) Price stabilization is substantial, inducing significant price rigidity at and below the offer price. Stabilization appears, at least in the short run, to raise the equilibrium stock price. (2) Many studies suggest that stabilization helps to mitigate information asymmetry problems in the IPO market. I find no evidence that stocks with larger ex-ante information asymmetries are stabilized more strongly. (3) The characteristics of the lead underwriter emerge as the strongest determinants of price support. Larger and more reputable investment banks stabilize more, perhaps to protect their reputations with investors. But there are substantial differences in price support even among the largest underwriters (after controlling for IPO characteristics and underwriter size). (4) Investment banks with retail brokerage operations stabilize much more than other large investment banks. This puzzling result seems inconsistent with the common view that stabilization benefits primarily institutional investors, and I outline and examine several alternative explanations.
Keywords: IPOs, price support, stabilization, investment banks, reputation
JEL Classification: G24, G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation